Visitors to Arizona enjoy many exciting travel experiences. Ancient geological wonders, modern museums of art, cowboy saloons and cemeteries are just some of the attractions that can be visited by escorted tours through the American south-west.
Time spent in the affluent community of Scottsdale, Arizona is the urban sightseer‘s delight. There are hundreds of shops and restaurants to explore. Over eighty art galleries display works that range from modern sculpture to photography of the old west. At night, Old Scottsdale has popular clubs and bars. During the day it is a delightful neighbourhood of cowboy era streets and architecture.
Scottsdale is known among the town folk as “The West’s Most Western Town”. That name symbolizes Scottsdale’s history of being surrounded by cattle ranches. Traditional cowboys continued to work at ranches and rodeos around Scottsdale until well into the 1950s. Today, festivals and parades occur through the year to pay homage to the town’s history.
Travelling from Scottsdale to the Grand Canyon is a short trip by American standards. It is such a breathtaking sight that most North American’s consider it a requirement that they see the Grand Canyon at some time during their life. The Colorado River and its tributaries have carved through six thousand feet of canyon to show off colourful layers of sedimentary rocks. The eighteen mile width of the canyon is studded with beautiful rock formations so that every viewpoint offers multiple unique Otota photo opportunities.
For those with natural science interests, the Grand Canyon offers even greater joy. The age of the exposed rock increases as one travels down the canyon. At the canyon’s lowest point, the rocks are over two billion years old. Nature lovers will also admire the diversity of life zones within the canyon. It is said that one would have to drive from Mexico to Canada to experience the same range of ecological diversity that is found within the Grand Canyon.
Tucson, Arizona is a few hours south of the Grand Canyon and one of the oldest continually inhabited sites in the world. Hohokam Indians settled and farmed the area for four thousand years before Spanish missionaries arrived in the late 1600s and established missions. The best known of these is “The Old Pueblo”, an adobe walled structure which is still standing today.
Like Scottsdale, Tucson has many museums and restaurants, as well as spas and golf courses to serve the multitudes of people who retire to Tucson.
A trip to Tombstone rounds out the south-west experience. Tombstone is famous for the “Gunfight at the OK Corral”, an event that defines the American west. The gun fight was a battle of Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday against a band of outlaws. Tourists can visit their graves at Boot Hill Cemetery, so named for the many cowboys who “died with their boots on”.
Another popular site in Tombstone is the Birdcage theatre. An old drinking hole that is famous for whiskey, gun fights and saloon girls. The theatre’s history is evident in the dozens of bullet holes that mark the walls.
With its natural splendour and cowboy history, escorted tours through Arizona can provide a uniquely American adventure.